When you experience infertility (or miscarriages), it never leaves you. Even after you have babies those thoughts and feelings can still resurface and sometimes continuing to complete your family is just as difficult the second time around. We believed once we beat it and had 4 embabies waiting for us, that we might get blessed for this next round to be a bit easier. Unfortunately, we’ve hit some new roadblocks. Throw in a life in the military and it becomes a tad more complicated.
With Ryan in flight school and unable to take any leave (he has over a month saved up at this point), the scheduling to have another baby (or two) has been interesting, to say the least. We should be PCS-ing again (we won’t find out where until August/September time frame) sometime after the new year pending him not hitting any “bubbles” in his training schedule. I couldn’t be too far along or just had a baby. However, we do have to travel to Savannah, GA where our embabies are frozen, so I have to be pregnant prior to us leaving Fort Rucker. If the first transfer doesn’t work and we lose the babies, we’ll have to transfer our last embabies and travel from wherever we’re stationed after here.
We were able to get everything planned and scheduled and all of my drugs had arrived! I went to my OB/GYN on post for some preliminary testing to make sure that my body was set for the transfer, but we discovered a few abnormalities on my lab work. My RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) from Savannah ran some of his own labs and my PCM doctor here ran some as well. We discovered that I have Graves’ disease causing Hyperthyroidism. Graves is an autoimmune disease attacking your thyroid making it go into overdrive. After speaking to my RE and doing some of my own research, I was devastated to learn that this can make it impossible to get pregnant and carry to term without the proper treatment. I let myself grieve for another day once our transfer was put on hold once more.
I received a referral for a local endocrinologist and, after speaking to them, discovered that they couldn’t get me in until September! I may have cried again. 😦 My RE sent over a special request with his series of lab tests and through much prayer I received a call that they could get me in at the beginning of June.
My endo spent an hour going over my 3 options moving forward. And This past week I went for a Radioactive Iodine Uptake Scan to confirm the diagnosis of Graves. The options going forward are:
1) Radioactive Iodine to kill my thyroid. This would keep me quarantined for about a week away from my babies (Just NO!). Plus I couldn’t get pregnant for 6-12 months after undergoing this treatment.
2) Anti-thyroid meds. These cross the placenta and can be very dangerous during pregnancy. There is some research stating this can be rare, but they can cause birth defects and thyroid problems for the baby. My RE has said he won’t allow me to do an Embryo Transfer on the meds or within months of taking them.
3) Thyroidectomy. 97% of the time goes smoothly, but I’ll need hormone replacement for life. 1-3% of the time it can damage your larynx and/or your parathyroid depending upon my anatomy and how invasive the surgery ends up. After that I’ll instantly become hypothyroid and will need to have my hormones regulated before we can do the transfer. However, hopefully we can pregnant possibly within 2-3 months.
Finally, on a smaller note: He thinks the reason I haven’t been able to lose weight is also due to sleep apnea. So I have to do a sleep study. Not a big deal, but I HATE being away from my babies!
I now have an appt with a surgeon to schedule a Thyroidectomy, which Ryan and I feel like is the best option going forward. I’m a little nervous to literally have my life depend on a little pill forever and for the surgery itself. However, I’m confident that we’ve made the correct decision and I’m ready to finally feel normal again and to hopefully get pregnant as soon as possible to be healthy for all of us.
Please keep me and the family in your prayers. We desperately want to bring home more of our embabies and this has all been a little overwhelming!